God knows our sins, our weakness. But, more importantly, he knows our hearts, our innermost being. He knows if our hearts are set on him, if they are humble enough to recognize our own weaknesses and our need of his graceful aid.
Who among us can say that we have clean hands and pure hearts? If we are honest, we would have to admit that none of us are, that is, without the mercy of God. This psalm expresses both a wisdom and a hope. The wisdom is that ascending the hill of the Lord is not easy. It is a steep climb that cannot be done without aid. As people who have committed ourselves to Christ, it is our hope that one day, through our faith and the grace of God, we will be able to ascend that hill, to enter into the sanctuary of his kingdom, forever.
God knows our sins, our weakness. But, more importantly, he knows our hearts, our innermost being. He knows if our hearts are set on him, if they are humble enough to recognize our own weaknesses and our need of his graceful aid. Though we are sinners and weak, if we willingly set our hearts on him, and if we give ourselves over to him in faith, he will answer all the prayers we lift up to him in his name. It is our willingness to struggle toward him, and our openness to grow in our faith that he responds to with infinite love.
The important thing is our attitude. Are our hearts yearning for God in all things? Do we trust in his merciful love for us, despite the fact that we know ourselves as sinners? In order to ascend the hill of the Lord we must desire to seek his face more than anything else. And we must develop the humility to know our need for his mercy. Finally, we must come to know his will and desire to submit to it willingly. Is it not a matter of our faith to know that when we fall, it is God’s mercy that lifts us back up again? It is his mercy that washes us clean so that we may ascend his hill. It is because of our experience of his mercy that we yearn for a heart pure enough to enter his sanctuary.
It is the humble heart that recognizes and remembers that the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s; that it is he that brought everything into being, most especially, each one of us. It is the one who recognizes this and remembers it, who gives him or herself over to the Lord in all things, great and small, who will be able to ascend the hill of the Lord. As Christians, then, we must devote ourselves to the effort to know the Lord, to love him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul, and to serving him in all things. If we work every day to strengthen this attitude of faith in our hearts and minds, then, “In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high will break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
Lord, we humbly turn toward your mercy. Wash us clean and purify our hearts. With your grace, help us to become your good and faithful servants here on earth, so that we may ascend to the glorious heights of your heavenly hill on the Last Day. We pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen
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